According to recent reports, N’Golo Kanté, the highly-regarded French midfielder currently playing for Chelsea, is on the verge of finalizing a remarkable transfer to the Saudi Arabian powerhouse, Al-Ittihad. After completing his medical evaluation in London, the official announcement of this high-profile move is expected to be imminent. With his contract at Chelsea expiring this month, Kanté has reached an agreement with Al-Ittihad until 2025, with the option to extend for an additional year. Astoundingly, this deal is reportedly valued at a staggering €100 million (£86 million) per season, catapulting Kanté into the ranks of the world’s highest-paid players.
Al-Ittihad, backed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), has been flexing its financial muscles in the transfer market recently, acquiring substantial stakes in four Saudi clubs, including Al-Ittihad itself. The club’s recent signing of Karim Benzema from Real Madrid further solidifies their ambitions and strengthens their squad. Interestingly, while Kanté was initially in talks for a contract extension with Chelsea, the deal failed to materialize. The 32-year-old midfielder has encountered injury setbacks, limiting him to just nine appearances in the previous season.
The reported salary offered to Kanté encompasses not only his base earnings but also includes income from image rights, commercial endorsements, and an investment portfolio. Although a substantial sum in its own right, this amount is approximately half of what Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr in December of last year, are earning at their respective Saudi Arabian clubs.
This news of N’Golo Kanté’s imminent move to Al-Ittihad has captivated the attention of various sources and has evoked surprise across the footballing world. For instance, former Liverpool player Jose Enrique expressed his shock at Kanté’s decision to depart from Chelsea and join Al-Ittihad. This trend of high-profile players opting for Saudi Arabia as their next destination has been on the rise, with the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo already making waves. Moreover, rumors have emerged suggesting that Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha might follow suit.
N’Golo Kanté, the renowned Chelsea midfielder, stands on the brink of completing a momentous move to Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia. The official announcement is expected soon, marking Kanté’s transition to the Saudi club on a highly lucrative contract that extends until 2025.